Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Session II: Salon I

Mobile Social AR and VR – Social Media Meets Augmented and Virtual Reality – The Facebook – Google - Global Interface

Brett Durrett, Chief Executive Officer, IMVU

Mark Schoennagel, 3D Evangelist, Unity

Michael Zyda, Director, USC GamePipe Laboratory

Matt Johnson, EVP of Innovation, Bottle Rocket & GM of Thruster

Tom Impallomeni, CEO, Virtually Live

David Bloom, Digital content production and partnerships,, Moderator

gaming division. He brings over 17 years of experience in the interactive media and social gaming industries to his leadership role at Bottle Rocket. In 2011, Johnson formed Thruster, a division that concentrates on the growing demand for engaging mobile gaming experiences. Under his leadership, Thruster saw rapid growth in their first year through co-branded games and revenue share partnerships, and has seen great success with games created from their original IP. Thruster’s apps now serve more than 100 million game sessions and users have spent more than 300 years in their apps this year alone! Prior to joining Bottle Rocket, Johnson held leadership positions in several emerging technology and gaming companies that produced gaming hits for brands such as Elf Bowling, Proctor & Gamble, and Nabisco. Johnson understands the balance that brands must take to maintain their credibility while leveraging the growing power of social media and viral distribution.


Brett G. Durrett, CEO, IMVU: Brett (avatar "Brett") joined IMVU in August 2005 as Vice President of Operations. In 2008 he became responsible for all technical functions in the company and served as Senior Vice President Engineering & Operations. Prior to IMVU, Brett was General Manager for the virtual world at, after serving as its Director of Engineering and later as its VP of Operations. Prior to, Brett co-founded and was CEO of Asylum Entertainment, a game development company. Brett led Asylum to develop 20 game titles over a 5-year period before selling the company to a software publisher. Brett started his professional life programming video games for PCs and consoles before he was of legal age to sign a contract. When he gets out of the office, Brett likes spending time with his kids and working on what seems to be an endless renovation of his 100-year-old house.


Michael Zyda is the Founding Director of the USC GamePipe Laboratory, and a Professor of Engineering Practice in the USC Department of Computer Science. At USC, he founded the USC Games joint Advanced Games course and took that program from no program to the #1 Games program in the world in five years. His alums have shipped games played by over 790M players. From Fall 2000 to Fall 2004, he was the Founding Director of the MOVES Institute located at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey and a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at NPS. From 1986 until the formation of the MOVES Institute, he was the Director of the NPSNET Research Group. Professor Zyda's research interests include computer graphics, large-scale, networked 3D virtual environments and games, agent-based simulation, modeling human and organizational behavior, interactive computer-generated story, computer-generated characters, video production, entertainment/defense collaboration, modeling and simulation, and serious and entertainment games. He is a pioneer in the following fields - computer graphics, networked virtual environments, modeling and simulation, and serious and entertainment games. He holds a lifetime appointment as a National Associate of the National Academies, an appointment made by the Council of the National Academy of Sciences in November 2003, awarded in recognition of “extraordinary service” to the National Academies. He is a member of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. He served as the principal investigator and development director of the America’s Army PC game funded by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. He took America’s Army from conception to three million plus registered players and hence, transformed Army recruiting. The creation of the America’s Army game founded the serious games field. He co-holds several patents, including two patents that form the basis for the 9-axis sensor in the Nintendo Wii U.


Tom Impallomeni is CEO of Virtually Live. Virtually Live recreates the magic of live sports for fans around the world, primarily using virtual reality. Having started his professional career as a Corporate Finance advisor for PwC, Tom moved to senior management positions at a number of high growth tech businesses. Prior to Virtually Live, Tom was COO of SuperAwesome, the world's largest family advertising network with a global reach of more than 250 million monthly unique users.  Alongside Virtually Live, Tom advises as number of startups in the health and family space, including NomNom, a healthy lifestyle app, and FireTechCamp, which operates technology camps for children and teaches skills including web development, design and robotics.  He is also a keen supporter of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, and although he now resides in San Francisco, he cannot wait for Virtually Live to enable him to virtually attend Spurs matches from the West Coast.


David Bloom advises on communications strategy, media relations and social media for prominent companies, institutions and individuals in politics, technology, entertainment and business. Bloom previously was associate dean and chief communications officer for the USC Marshall School of Business, and vice president of corporate communications at movie studio MGM Inc. He previously worked 20 years as an award-winning journalist for such publications as Variety, Red Herring, the Los Angeles Daily News and the Dallas Times Herald.  Bloom writes regularly on technology, media, politics and art at the blogs Bloom’s Day and Post Mad Bills; guest lectures at USC, Pepperdine and Chapman University, and is a frequent moderator and panelist at conferences such as Digital Hollywood, Ad:Tech, Produced By, NATPE and OMMA. He is vice president of the Board of Directors of Outpost for Contemporary Art.

Mark Schoennagel, 3D Evangelist, Unity: Mark is a Unity Evangelist with a strong technical background in 3D Animation for both film and video games. For nearly 20 years he was the lead evangelist for Softimage 3D, enjoying a front-row seat during the renaissance of the 3D industry. From witnessing the humble beginnings of the first ray-traced animations all the way through to today’s blockbuster AAA game titles, he’s seen it all. When not pushing the limits of 3D, Mark enjoys Formula 1, photography and VR…which of course is just more 3D.


Matt Johnson, EVP of Innovation, Bottle Rocket & GM of Thruster: Matt Johnson is the EVP of Innovation at Bottle Rocket and GM of Thruster, Bottle Rocket’s